Mousa Dembele has revealed he left Tottenham in January because he wanted to experience “something different” in China.
The midfielder spent six-and-a-half seasons at Spurs and became a fan favourite under the management of Mauricio Pochettino.
After struggling with injuries and fitness issues over the last few years, including a lengthy lay-off during the current season, Dembele left Tottenham for Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R&F last month.
The Belgian was set to leave on a free transfer in the summer, so Spurs cashed in while they could. But why did Dembele want to leave Tottenham for China? He has finally explained his decision.
“I’m a social guy I think. I’m not too serious. I don’t like to be too serious. I think off the pitch I can have a laugh with everyone,” Dembele said (via Sky Sports).
“I like to see myself as open-minded. That is one of the reasons I wanted to come to China. I wanted to see something different.
“I wanted to have a different experience in life. I heard already there is good food in Guangzhou. I will try this a lot. I think my family will enjoy it as well here.”
Spurs don’t tend to offer contract extensions to players over the age of 30, so Dembele was never likely to sign a new deal with the Londoners. Still, his exit took many by surprise.
Some believe Dembele would be still be able to play at a reasonable level in one of Europe’s top five leagues. He clearly feels he has done all he can in Europe, hence the move to China.